The Daily Show - Culture War Update - The Dividening of America - American Atheists vs. Ground Zero Cross
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It is rare, but every now and then, Jon Stewart disappoints me. The surprise was when he said, "By the way, atheists, why do you give a shit?" It's one thing to hear that from the religious, because they usually say it to discourage atheists from speaking out against their mythology, but hearing it from people who are not only non-religious but likely atheists as well is quite frustrating. Imagine a extreme scenario, just to make a clear point--what if there was a group of people living in, say, 1930's Germany who found comfort in a cross that remained from a building that burned down, killing a bunch of Jews inside. The comfort, of course, was from the feeling that their god was giving them a sign assuring them that they need to purify their culture. Need I explain how they would go about doing that? Might that be something worth caring about for someone like Stewart?
Now, as I said, the example is extreme, and doesn't fully relate to this 9/11 cross situation. Stewart went on to tell atheists what to think about the cross. However, the issue is not what we think about the cross, it is what Christians think about the cross. Just like in the example above, it's not necessarily an issue what Jews think of a cross, it is what the Christian Germans think about it! Frankly, there could be some Christians out there who see it as a sign from their god that they need to promote vengeance against all Muslims. Do you doubt that? Do I need to remind people about the raucous over the "Ground Zero Mosque" last year???
And if this still fails to clear up the problem, take this quote from former President, George H. W. Bush: "...I don't know that atheists should be considered as citizens, nor should they be considered patriots. This is one nation under God." Though the cross may bring comfort to people, as Stewart says, the problem is that it also sends a silent message that this is a Christian nation, and I don't mean that in the sense that Christians are a majority; I mean that in the sense that Christians have special rights in this country, and if you are not a Christian, you, as Bush said it, "should not be considered...citizens."
The problem becomes obvious in comments that were found on Fox New's Facebook page. It sounds like most of the offending comments have been removed, but some were captured by the writer of One Man's Blog, but All Facebook has condenced the comments down into one layout.
Here is the video that apparently sparked all of this anger. While Dave Silverman may have said some offensive--but true--comments, did Blair Scott really say anything that should have gotten such a reaction?